A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces

Large Print - 2004
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Released by Louisiana State University Press in 1980, A Confederacy of Dunces is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon. Rejected by countless publishers and submitted by the author's mother years after his suicide, the book won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Today there are almost two million copies in print worldwide in eighteen languages. Now, for the first time, John Kennedy Toole's comic masterpiece is available in a large print edition. Toole's lunatic and sage novel introduces one of the most memorable characters in American literature, Ignatius Reilly, whom Walker Percy dubs "slob extraordinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one." Set in New Orleans, A Confederacy of Dunces outswifts Swift, one of whose essays gives the book its title. As its characters burst into life, they leave the region and literature forever changed by their presence -- Ignatius and his mother; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levi Pants; inept, wan Patrolman Mancuso; Darlene, the Bourbon Street stripper with a penchant for poultry; Jones the jivecat in spaceage dark glasses.

Included here is the introduction that writer and New Orleans resident Andrei Codrescu composed for the book's twentieth anniversary. Set in oversized type for ease in reading, the large print edition will gratify both first-timers seeking to discover this modern-day classic and longtime afficionados wishing to reread a favorite novel.

Publisher: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2004, c1980
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9780807130087
Branch Call Number: TOOLE J
PS3570.O54 C66 2004x
Characteristics: xx, 603 p. (large print) ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

John Kennedy Toole’s mother discovered this book (then just a mess of scribbled papers) under his bed after he committed suicide in 1969. The book was published and went on to win a posthumous Pulitzer Prize. It’s a hilarious account of a man who writes books in his bedroom but never publishes th... Read More »

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Jan 24, 2018

Possibly the funniest book I've ever read.

Sep 29, 2017

This is a sprawling comic novel full of unforgettable characters ridiculous situations and often insulting stereotypes. Published posthumously after the authors tragic suicide it nevertheless went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. But perhaps its greatest accomplishment is the main character Ignatius J Reilly. He is hard to describe beyond calling him a modern day Don Quixote, but with more flatulence. He is a man at war with the modern world, out of touch with his own emotions, manipulative, self-righteous, eloquent and insane. He is the swirling center of the book, but there are many others memorable characters. Set in New Orleans in the 1970's the novel is colorful. humorous and implausible, but you won't ever forget its scenes.

Jul 17, 2017

One of my all-time favorite books.

CMLReads_Kristin Jun 01, 2017

This book is hilarious, but the most fascinating part of this book for me is the tragic life of John Kennedy Toole and the improbable story of how this book came to be published.

Feb 06, 2017

Very funny, well imagined characters set in New Orleans. I laughed out loud reading it in the airport.

Jun 13, 2016

The funniest book I have ever read, my all-time favorite book. If you can't laugh at this then I can't be your friend.

Jun 03, 2016

I found this book surprisingly good! I know a person that is just like Ignatius!

I enjoyed how the book came from different perspectives so you could see what was going on with all of the characters and how they came together in the end.

I would recommend this book :)

Dec 23, 2015

Made it to page 125 and gave up. I just can't maintain any interest in the loutish, know-it-all main character & I find the social concepts dated and offensive.

Nov 11, 2015

I found this book to be satisfying on many levels. I can best signify my meaning by citing the role of the book "The Consolation of Philosophy" by Boethius in this novel. The mere appearance of such a work in a comedic novel would be enough to please any self-styled intellectual reader. But the author's union of high-brow and low-brow elements is ever delightful and unexpected, and the classic book must be used and abused to propel the plot.

The protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly, had lent his expensive hardcover Boethius to an absurdly disguised undercover police officer, with hopes of uplifting his sensibilities. The book gets stolen and used as a weapon before falling into the hands of a local pornographer. The book is used as a prop in a lewd photo which is then sold around New Orleans, the setting of Toole's novel. One of these photos is acquired accidentally by Reilly, and then serves as impetus for his quixotic quest to find and rescue the unfortunate woman pictured. He is certain the nude woman in the photo is a victim of the vagaries of Fortune's Wheel, and that she must be importuned into posing for porn due to doleful circumstances. This unknown woman thus becomes his Dulcinea.

I mention Don Quixote here, for the famous Manchegan is a strong element in the admixture that is Toole's protagonist. We also see shades of Falstaff, W.C. Fields, Nietzsche, and a hypochondriac old aunt from Proust.

Jun 15, 2015

Didn't finish. Humor didn't appeal to me.

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Brown_Dog_365 May 19, 2012

Brown_Dog_365 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Jul 16, 2008

Your total ignorance of that which you profess to teach merits the death penalty. I doubt whether you would know that St. Cassian of Imola was stabbed to death by his students with their styli. His death, a martyr's honorable one, made him a patron saint of teachers.
Pray to him, you deluded fool, you "anyone for tennis?" golf-playing, cocktail-quaffing, pseudo-pedant, for you do indeed need a heavenly patron.
Although your days are numbered, you will not die as a martyr–for you further no holy cause–but as the total ass which you really are.


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